Off-season Roster Organization Part II

In Part I, I looked at the offense on my FanGraphs Experts League team using the new ottoneu Roster Organizer tool. Today, I’ll finish up by reviewing my pitching staff and seeing where my team sits heading into trade season.

The pitching discussion should be interesting – I have choices to make on a legit ace (Roy Halladay), a bounce back candidate (Ryan Dempster), and more.

Again, I moved guys to the minors, made some clear cuts, and set my roster, resulting in this:

SP – Roy Halladay, Jered Weaver, Jeremy Hellickson, Michael Pineda, Shaun Marcum
RP – Aaron Crow
Bench – Clayton Richard, Jair Jurrjens, Julio Teheran, Cory Luebke, Ryan Dempster, Drew Pomeranz
Minors – Wily Peralta, John Lamb, Trevor Bauer
Cuts – J.P. Howell, Javy Guerra

So, can I start by saying that I absolutely love my starting pitching? Love it. It’s young, cheap and awesome. But, with that out of the way…

I can’t legitimately keep 11 ML starters, let alone eight ML starters and three minor leaguers who are not far away. So who needs to go?

Easiest to part with is probably Dempster. He isn’t too expensive ($8), but he is coming off a pretty bad year. That “bad” year, though, is highly impacted by a brutal ERA – his K/9 and BB/9 numbers are in-line with past seasons and his FIP and xFIP were just fine – both sub-4.00. He is a great bounce-back candidate and guy whose value should be lower at auction than he is worth. The question is, will it be below $8? If so, I probably cut him and try to get him back. If not, I have to keep or trade him.

I’d clear the most cap space by (gulp…) cutting Halladay at $45. This seems kind of crazy, on it’s face. He went for $46 on average last year, and I have him for less than that for 2012. And for a guy who will turn 35 early in the year, he has shown no signs of dropping off. His velocities were all down slightly last year, but not so much that we should expect him to fall apart. But with the rotation depth I have, I have to seriously consider cutting him loose.

There are a couple other guys who might be good trade options. Weaver is awfully good, but he is probably pretty fairly priced at $28, meaning there isn’t a ton of surplus value. If I could turn him into an equally valued closer, that would be a big step in the right direction (we’ll get to my pen in a second). Marcum is cheaper, but probably also a reasonable trade candidate at $12 – there is some surplus value there, but not a ton. Richard and Jurrjens are solid back-end of the rotation guys in a 5×5 league, and while I have no great desire to cut them, turning them into pieces I have a greater need for via trade makes sense.

The problem here, of course, is my bullpen. Guerra and Howell are potentially keepable if they get closer jobs, but I am figuring neither will and I will end up cutting them both. Crow won’t be a closer either – but he very well may be in the rotation, and is probably worth holding onto cause of that.

Based on all of that, I am left with 35 players under contract for $304 total. The problem is I have more than 5 spots to fill. I need a starting SS and a backup MI. I need another OF. I need stolen bases for sure. And I need at least 4, maybe 5, relievers, including at least 2 closers. A lot of these guys can come cheap (1-2 of the relievers can go for $1-$2 each; the backup MI can be $1-$2, etc.) but I need to find some roster spots.

What that means is that I either have to trade some of my strength (SP) to address those holes, or at least make some 2-for-1 type trades to consolidate talent and open up space.

What do you think? Between this and Part I, what would you do? Who would you trade? Did I cut anyone I shouldn’t? Keep anyone I should have cut?

Two small notes – first and foremost, Happy Thanksgiving to you and your families! I hope you enjoy the day and take time to reflect on what you have to be thankful for. Second, if there is anything related to ottoneu you would like me to cover in a future column, leave it in the comments here. I can’t promise to cover everything, but I will take a look at anything you’d like to read.

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6 Responses to “Off-season Roster Organization Part II”

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  1. just jim says:

    The link you placed for Part 1 actually brings you back to part 2. Could you please change that as I missed it and would like to see.

    And Happy Thanksgiving to everyone at fangraphs.

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  2. just jim says:

    And without seeing your offence, I agree with cutting or trading Halladay. Yes he is awesome but he is the best option to clear cap room. You may take a hit in 2012, but Weaver isn’t a bad ace and with youngsters like Pineda and Helickson already on your team for basically peanuts you will be in great shape for several years after that. Not to mention that every year young pitchers come up from the minors and outpreform what we thought they could do. Not saying any of them will ever perform like Halladay out of the gate, but they will supplement some of his numbers to where you’ll be able to compete without dismantling your team.
    Jurrjens could slide up to be your 5th starter (unless Dempster bounces back). Dempster is a nice bounce back candidate, but the other side of the coin is he will turn 35 next year and unlike Halladay he has shown some signs of regressing (except for K’s). It’s only $8 but if you are gonna unload Halladay and looking past this year he might make another good candidate to shed some money.
    That’s $53 dollars if you get rid of the two of them, and you still have a pretty good pitching staff to compete with. That’s my 2 cents….keep the change.

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  3. jerbear says:

    I agree with cutting Dempster and Halladay. I think Jurrjens could be a sell-high candidate, there’s a hint of impending regression in his numbers.

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  4. Pugsly says:

    I agree with cutting Halladay. I would rather spend the few extra bucks on Kershaw. Or save a few on someone like Greinke.

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  5. Nelson Santovenia says:

    Looking back a year later, maybe you shouldnt have loved you staff too much. You probably finished near last in pitching barring trades.

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    • Chad Young says:

      looking at the list up there, I can see why you would think that. As it happens, I actually did fine in pitching, I just came up short on IP. I earned 7.5 points for saves, 8 for ERA and 9 for WHIP, but only 3 total for K and W. I made a couple trades (including ridding myself of Halladay) and as of today, my rotation includes:

      Weaver, Joe Nathan, Tommy Hanson, Jeremy Hellickson, Marcum, Dempster, Teheran, Tillman, Casey Janssen, Edwin Jackson, Drew Pomeranz, Cory Luebke, Trevor Bauer. During the season, I also had Brett Myers and Guerra, among others. Nothing spectacular but enough to get by. Going into this year, I want to add another top-level SP and I really hope Marcum gets signed into a good situation. With that in place, I’ll again like my pitching (especially since my pen now includes Nathan, Ryan Madson, and the Jays two-headed closer of Santos and Janssen).

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